LA PLATA, Argentina, June 9, 2023 (AFP): Uruguay beat surprise package Israel 1-0 on Thursday to qualify for the Under-20 World Cup final where they will face Italy.
The Israelis stunned Brazil in the quarter-finals but their charmed progress through to the last four in the competition came to an end at La Plata's Diego Maradona stadium.
In the first half, Israel's goalkeeper Tomer Zarfati denied Uruguay striker Anderson Duarte, with the 19-year-old then hitting the woodwork.
On a far from perfect playing surface Israel held on gamely but were finally undone when Franco Gonzalez's 61st-minute strike hit the post, with Duarte on hand to slam home the rebound past Zarfati.
In Thursday's second semi-final, goals from Cesare Casadei and Simone Pafundi gave Italy a 2-1 win against South Korea.
Pafundi scored a superb 86th-minute free-kick after Lee Seung-won converted a penalty to equalise Casadei's opener.
By netting for the seventh time in Argentina, Casadei overtook Paolo Rossi and Salvatore Schillaci to become the outright highest-scoring Italian in one edition of a FIFA tournament.
The showpiece on Sunday will be the third time Uruguay have featured in the U-20 World Cup final -- they were beaten on penalties by France in 2013, and by Argentina 2-1 in 1997.
FIFA moved the competition to Argentina weeks before kick-off, world football's governing body withdrawing Indonesia's hosting rights after protests against Israel's participation. - AFP